Saturday, June 18, 2016
Last Friday, June 10, was the 15 year anniversary of my stroke. I took the day off from work, got a facial and massage. I have worked really hard to shake off the emotional shackles of my stroke this year. I have a recent neuropsychological report that says I am smart and I got feedback from a voice acting class that was amazing. So, rather than focus on loss, here are the things I am grateful for:
Where I Live
Living in Jamaica Plain has been wonderful. I love Ruggerio's, Canto 6, Centre St, Green Street Massage, and the Egleston Farmer's Market. People smile at strangers here. My apartment is amazing too. It's a five room two bedroom in a triple decker. It has central air, garbage disposal, dishwasher, washer, and dryer. There is also storage in the basement. Yes I have been able to watch a sunset sipping wine on our porch. My commute when the orange line cooperates is 15 minutes.
After living alone for thirteen years, my roomie is basically too perfect to exist outside of my imagination. She's a fellow nerd who is open to new obsessions - I got her into the Marvel Universe, she got me into Outlander. She's incredibly empathetic which helps on my bad days. It's easy for me to ask her for help. The division of labor around our place has been painless because we have similar mess tolerance, internal laziness, and guilt. We crack each other up to the point of doubling over and wiping away tears. She gets my routines and moods. Like I am a grunting stumbling Frankenstein in the morning with Dragonball Z hair until I get coffee in me. We watch Game of Thrones together. She also gets along with my family.
I have a job that engages me, uses all my skills, challenges me, and teaches me something. This is the first job in a while where I own projects and am responsible for outcomes. It feels great that with each challenge, I have been able to succeed. The people I work with are kind, helpful, and funny. I love my little analyst group; Super Boss, Baby Analyst, and Worker Bee Analyst. Baby Analyst and Worker Bee have a fun bickering/friendly vibe. I joke with them that looking out of my office door is like watching a sitcom. I don't tell them it's like a will they/won't they romantic sitcom. Seriously, I look at those two and think "Just kiss damnit!" Super Boss and I are getting along well. He isn't on a pedestal in my mind anymore, he's more human now. I think that helps with communication. If I can survive the current political climate, I can see myself sticking around for a couple more years.
I am so grateful for this body I have been given. I know I don't treat it well and I should. It has persevered despite a lot of damage. I am approaching 40 with minimal wrinkles and health problems. My gray hairs are sparkling white. I haven't had a sinus infection for over a year - I used to get two a year. My bones basically don't break, I wind up injuring tendons, nerves, or tissue. A fun aspect of my body is that my mother's DNA is so strong, I look at photos of my grandmother, great grandmother, or go to family parties and I see that I belong. Sure I wish my boobs were bigger, hair thicker, and waist thinner but what I have been given is so strong, I am grateful.
My mom and brother have been my best cheerleaders. They know how to get me out of my funks and how to tell me painful truths. They have celebrated my highs, laughed long and hard with me. My cousins are also awesome to have in my life as an adult. We tend to have similar work ethics and hang ups. I get great advice on everything from excellent beers to handling sticky situations at work. I am the oldest cousin but that doesn't mean I should know the most and it's so helpful to have resources where I can get feedback without being judged. I also love their kids. They are kids I would have totally played with when I was little.
I am so glad I am here whether it's through God's will, luck, or my stubbornness. Each laugh and each tear is a gift. I love my life.